Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Fou littéraire

SMK Museum Copenhagen

There is no exact fitting translation for the French categorization “fou littéraire”, except maybe “literary crank” or “literary fool”. The French “fou”, rather than an insult , can be understood as something to be respected or feared like a Holy fool or even imply some kind of exciting creative exuberance : how crazy is that ?! …


A literary fool is an author,  who has been unable throughout his  entire writing career to earn any recognition from the intellectual community, the public, the critics or the publishing world. Their self – published and self  – promoted works contain absurd scientific theories which they have been passionately but vainly advertising to an unfriendly world. Their life stories are weird, sad and miserably funny.

I have been introduced to my first “fou littéraire”, Jean-Pierre Brisset, through his work “ Les origines humaines”, where he proofs etymologically, and this beyond any doubt, that men have evolved directly from the croaking frogs.

His writings are so absurdly funny, his imagination so crack-potty and his reasoning so convincing, that Brisset has become a cause célèbre among writers like André Breton, Raymond Queneau and even Michel Foucault, who have all remained at the safe side of madness while envying Brisset’s  excursion into his mental fifth dimension.